Village Praxis Series: A Logistical Lesson from the Apache Wars

Massai and Gray Lizard wanted to go with Geronimo. They asked permission of their fathers and were told: “You are almost men. You must decide for yourselves.”

They and others told Geronimo that they would join him.

“The time is not yet ripe,” he answered. ” It will take two summers, perhaps more, to prepare and store food.”

“For what?”

“For emergencies you impatient ones! To fight the White Eyes we must travel fast and ride light. When we reach a hiding place we must have food, clothing, and especially, moccasins there. We must have cooking pots. We must have ammunition. It is for you to secure and place these things where I shall direct. I know every waterhole between Fort Wingate and Casas Grandes and between Silver City and Chihuahua. I know hidden caves where supplies can be cached. Then, when we have supplies to last for many months, we will strike!”

- Eve Ball. Indeh: An Apache Odyssesy. University of Oklahoma Press. 1988

Secession, One Year Later

This is the final installment in my fictional treatment of a state making a break from the union.  I think we are increasingly closer to this becoming a reality.  BB

Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right – a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people, that can, may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit.

~ Abraham Lincoln, (speech in Congress January 1848)

Idaho started the ball rolling and seceded from these united States. A total dissolution of America quickly followed as schisms and fissures erupted across North America. The collapse of the Mexican government caused a tidal wave of immigration to wash in to the southwestern portions of the former country. The great financial collapse of the world economy centered on the fiscal and monetary mischief in DC and Wall Street added yet more fuel to the fire. To tarnish the American reputation even more, hundreds of thousands of American troops were left stranded and penniless around the globe as the economic meltdown in America reduced the dollar to Zimbabwean valuations. To make matters worse, the government in DC instituted blanket loyalty oaths as a precursor for repatriation of returning soldiers who had managed to get home. This in turn caused entire National Guard and reserve units to return to their homes and assist in the buildup of forces in those states to fight the various doomed attempts by the central government to bring the rebellious states to heel.

The US followed in the footsteps of every other empire; corruption, decay and imperial overreach both at home and abroad. The District of Columbia still maintains a tenuous rump government known as the United States Socialist Republic (USSR) in control of the New England/Virginia states but power brownouts/blackouts, food shortages and insurgent activity have caused ambitions to whither to reunite the nation. Rumors of gulags, reeducation camps, oppressive domestic population controls and blanket censorship remain a common narrative for refugees escaping from the USSR. Repeated military strikes and adventures to bring the nation back to its original 2009 configuration failed and consequently, managed to cause the divisibility to exponentially expand. Total combat losses for USSR forces are unofficially estimated at 156,000 killed and wounded and a half-million missing in action. Excepting attempts by USSR guerillas to form pockets of resistance and insurrection, the entire effort has failed. There is some speculation FSA and Alaskan acquisition of nuclear devices on former US bases within their respective borders caused the USSR to pause and retreat but this remains unconfirmed.

The country has fractured into both natural and uneasy alliances. The west coast states formed a tight Green Coalition alliance in what is now Pacifica. Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Montana and Nevada have formed the Free State Alliance (FSA) confederation with very close relations with the Alaska Republic. An immense brain-drain from Pacifica to the FSA has resulted from the ecotopian experiment. The Dakotas remain on the fence as to whether they will join them or sign on with the Midwestern Alliance. The Lakota Sioux will remain their own nation regardless. The American South and Southwest are still in the throes of a multi-sided civil war. Hawaii has reverted back to its roots with the inauguration of King Kamehameha VI and the annexation of all non-Hawaiian property back to the native islanders.

Quebec has broken away and fighting remains sporadic in the western Canadian provinces as the national government continues to press for its supremacy over the rebel Canadian states in the west. There are reports of insurgent materiel and support from the Free State Alliance to British Columbia but these reports remain unsubstantiated.

Mexico has splintered into approximately ten separate states with alliances between the various 31 states that comprised Mexico ebbing and flowing on a daily basis. While the USSR maintain strict drug prohibition, the decriminalization of drug laws in Pacifica and the Free State Alliance has significantly weakened the strength of the Mexican drug cartels to finance their activities.

Fears of meddling on the part of China, Russia and Middle Eastern states have appeared to be exaggerated as those nations grapple with their own economic and social collapse difficulties.

The rapid expansion of oil drilling unfettered by confiscatory taxation and regulatory nonsense from DC has caused an economic boom that may prove to leave both the Alaska Republic and the FSA as the North American “Tigers” economically.

The following interview was granted by Governor Lutrin of Idaho and broadcast on Voice of Liberty.

“Good morning, Governor.”

“Good morning, John.”

“Ten years ago, I suspect no one would have seen this transpire the way it has. No one would have suspected that the map of America would be this different. Do you think that this has been the outcome the Founders would have wanted?”

“Hamilton would be apoplectic but I suspect that Jefferson would be pleased and, of course, Tom Paine and Sam Adams would see this as inevitable. Why it took so long for the rotten structure to sunder itself, I will never know. Mind you, I did not come into office anticipating this chain of events.”

“Has it been a rough ride for Idaho and the FSA?”

“Quite frankly, we sensed that there was nothing easy about the fateful decision to get DC out of our state and out of our lives. I was embarking on a journey that my great-great-great grandfather witnessed in South Carolina in 1860 and we were praying for better results. To say that we were stepping into a void is an understatement. Not everyone in the state agreed with our course of action but I was convinced the people hired me not only to represent them but to exercise my own moral compass and judgment much like the Founders when they seceded from the United Kingdom.

The death and destruction we suffered was tremendous as a result of both insurgents and US [now USSR] armed forces employed against us. Possibly the only thing that kept us from getting overwhelmed was the disproportionate number of US troops deployed overseas and the concomitant crisis where the currency collapse caused many of them to be stranded in Indian country abroad. That, of course, led to some bitterness. Idaho had a reputation as a rather well-armed bastion but the ensuing guerilla conflict against the Federal forces was far more than they anticipated. There were even several assassination attempts against me…”

“One of which you thwarted by killing the assassin yourself…”

“Well, I have always considered it sociopathic to outsource my self-defense to others so carrying a weapon was a daily routine even before the conflict…

I have to tell you that we would not have prevailed if other states such as Montana and Wyoming among others had not joined the fray. I have to say that the number of murdered civilians by Federal forces tipped the war in our favor. I can never mend those families but the massive indiscriminate firepower and total disregard for civilian casualties turned the tide against the Federal forces. I would think that the failures of military effectiveness in Iraq and Afghanistan would have been a consideration but the war on Americans in their own country became a very bitter contest. Federal units may have owned the roadways but once they started to step into the wilderness or hinterlands even in large formations they were picked apart and annihilated.”

“There are rumors of Federal forces still in Idaho and the FSA…”

“Very true but those incidents are getting more and more scarce as time passes. Ironically, after the major hostilities ceased nearly six months ago, almost half the Federal forces in the region deserted and joined us once we had enjoined a treaty for repatriation of families and guarantees against reprisals with the DC government during secret talks.”

“Why were the talks secret?”

“Six months into the conflict, currency collapses and corruption in DC had so stymied and hampered the war effort both here and abroad, they had no choice but to negotiate but they dare not do so in public or they would have lost electoral support and you know where a politicians’ bread is buttered. We got plenty of concessions and I was able to look the President in the eye and tell him: ‘No, you can’t!’. We could have avoided the bloodshed if we had simply been granted a civil divorce per our request in the first place.”

“How would you characterize life in Idaho and the FSA now?”

“Life is difficult especially for those who have lost family, homes and fortunes. But we are rebuilding and we are free. We now have our own private banking system employing real gold & silver to back the specie. We have shut down and sold all Federal government property and are currently starting the second year cycle to bid out all Federal and State lands to private individuals and investors. There is zero government money going into the education system.

Each of the Confederation members in the FSA, and Alaska for that matter, are experimenting with different levels of state governance. In Idaho and Montana, for instance, all the timber interests subscribe to a private consortium for firefighting. Would you invest in a timber enterprise that did not seek to protect their own investment? So we think the incentives are more reality-based instead of the perverse and corrupting laws DC forced upon us.

We have left it up to the counties and subsidiary units to figure out what works best. The Federal Register has no weight here and all the courts are being privatized. The only gun law remaining on the books is if the gun is used in the commission of a crime. We have also imposed term limits on all politicians to one term in their lifetime.

Government is a nasty habit and it will take more than a year to kill the addiction but we feel that the competitive laboratories the states are creating will give us a running start to find the best path. This is the greatest failure of DC rule; it allowed no freedom of choice in so many areas of our lives. We are now free to choose, fail and prosper. We don’t have all the answers. For instance, we have eliminated all our drug laws on the books and have decriminalized possession, sale and production. Utah has not, so we will see how that works out.

The remaining part-time politicians in the statehouse are even offered personal bounties for reducing or eliminating budget items. I would much rather give a politician five percent of a one million dollar program than spend the money on the program in to perpetuity. We are also basing their salaries on an inverse ratio. In other words, the more money they vote to spend out of taxpayer’s pockets, the lower their salaries and compensation. Would I like to close the doors to the statehouse permanently? Sure, but we aren’t there yet.”

“Governor, one term means you are out next year. What are your plans?”

“To mind my own business.”

When all government, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the Center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

Secession Tales

By popular demand, this is Part II of “Good Morning, Mr. President”.  Ten years ago, secession was a four letter word but now more people are giving it serious thought than I ever seen before.  Enjoy. -BB

Mr. President, this is Governor Lutrin and I am calling on behalf of the nation of Idaho and the new Inland Confederation.”

“Good evening, Governor Lutrin, I was hoping we could discuss a resolution to the latest…unpleasantness.”

“Mr. President, I wanted to pass on to you my personal assurance on the territorial integrity of the remaining states in the former union known as these United States. The departure of Utah, Wyoming, Montana and eastern Washington into the newly revived Articles of Confederation was a happenstance our exit did not anticipate. We have no intention whatsoever of seeking additional members although I suspect your behavior has provided a tremendous incentive to cause more states to spin off from the orbit of DC. I would like to recommend the creation of a Summit to establish a peaceful reconciliation between the divorced parties to normalize trade and diplomatic relations.”

“Governor, your actions have caused a cascading effect that has effectively opened national fissures that are difficult to contain.”

“I would also like to offer my concerns on repatriating the surviving members of the 82d Airborne Division and elements of the XVIII Airborne Corps. Both battalions of the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) are remaining in the Confederation of their own accord to husband the creation of our own national militia. The critically wounded soldiers will receive the best care we can offer through their recovery and eventual return to your country. We have already dispatched the surviving 35 paratroopers to the border for return. I am hopeful we can sustain the agreed terms of the ceasefire and avoid any bloodshed in the future.”

“That was the most lopsided defeat of American arms on our soil since…”

“Sir, we initiated no aggression against these United States and simply did what we tend to do best when our backs are against the wall. We are a rural nation with urban pockets and the character of these states tend to be rather impatient with being pushed around and bullied. Consider us as a porcupine that can do you no harm unless you visit violence on it. You can say that the fury your armed forces experienced was a century of pent-up frustration and aggression. Their sacrifice and bravery is acknowledged.”

“The US is the most sophisticated and powerful military power on the face of the planet. If I simply picked up the phone and called for air strikes or military reprisals, we could bring you to your knees.”

“That would be inadvisable to visit that kind of bloodshed on peaceful people. That particular scenario is not working very well for you in the Middle East. I would also hope severe condemnations from civilized nations around the world would grace your desk. I can promise you that we will initiate a number of retaliatory measures which require no military action on our behalf that will cause a modicum of grief to your administration”

“Such as…”

“Inspired by a terrific novel called Enemies Foreign and Domestic, we happen to have a complete database of all current physical addresses of all FLEAs (Federal Law Enforcement Agent) in the US available for broadcast release on the internet when we choose.”

“I have filed a formal complaint with the United Nations Security Council to issue an injunction against your secession.”

“We cannot tell you who to associate with but we are not nor will we be members of the United Nations. We already have formal recognition from 55 nations including Alaska, Switzerland, Russia and France where we are establishing formal consular offices. We have formalized the transfer of all nuclear weapons and military facilities on Confederation soil and will reimburse the US Government for their costs after the auditors have finished calculating the total Confederation tax bill bled to the rulers on the Potomac since 1913. Unfortunately, I suspect the books may not balance in your favor so receipt of the funds in actual remuneration may not materialize.”

“Governor, that is clear and simple theft of US Government property to include the multibillion dollar facilities.”

“Mr. President, taxation is theft and the weight of Federal encroachment on the states has been enormous. Once DC started to behave like an occupation government, all the natural forces seeking remedy and escape started to form the perfect storm of events that liberated the Confederation from the former US configuration. We will conduct a full accounting of the valuation and match it to the previously mentioned audit. We have no Federal Reserve and the Confederation will be relying on free banking to mint a new currency or currencies backed by hard metal. What little government we have will be financed through a one percent tariff at the borders.”

“Governor, how can a government run on a one percent tax?”

“Mr. President, that is the original percentage of the income tax in 1913. We have already cashiered 98% of government workers in most of the states in the last two weeks. This includes the former Federal employees who chose to remain here. Each employee received the equivalent of five years salary in gold drawn from the caged IRS account in Boise. They are among the last people we hope will ever get government aid in the state. We have a unique agenda, we intend to shrink government over time and if the future allows us to zero it completely, so be it.”

“That is impossible, how will people survive without government support and protection?”

“Like free men, Mr. President, like free men.”

Guest Post- Killing With Kindness

Submitted by usarmyretiredguy.

Killing With Kindness:  Affirmative Action and the Destruction of Military Effectiveness

The femanization of the US Army is central to the collectivist agenda in their endeavor to take control of our country.  The Army Equal Opportunity Program (EO) began in the 1970’s is a vital mechanism of this deconstruction.  It may be one of the boldest and least recognized social engineering agendas in recent memory.   Information concerning the EO program is readily available via the internet and from my personal experience as an Army Command EO Advisor.  The object of this essay is not to diminish the contributions of black or other minority Americans but to show they, too, have been done a disservice by abandoning the notion of merit and color-blindness.

The EO program had its beginnings in the early 1970s with the dictate to address racial and ethnic tensions within the ranks. The initial directive for Army leadership was to identify the cause of racial strife permeating the conscript army.  Many studies, reports, and surveys later concluded the underlying reason for the strife was the actual or perceived issue of discrimination.  Amazingly enough, no one thought to consider the conflict in Viet Nam and the majority of soldiers dying were not minorities.  They were poor conscripts, without the influence necessary to avoid enforced servitude in the Army.  The statistics of casualties do not support the conclusion of a racial incongruity as the root cause of the purported discontent in the army.

American Casualties by Race:


Recorded Casualties

Native American














The actual casualties indicate minorities were only a small percentage of the overall numbers.  This leads one to conclude another agenda spurred the establishment of the EO program.  Simply, it was a crucial first step in feminizing the army in the pursuit of the collectivist agenda.  The basis for establishing the program is not significant; the implementation is the critical elements we must understand.

I had tours in two unique assignments; they provide me a distinctive background on how the collectivist agenda is breaking down the army’s masculinity.  These two assignments were as an army recruiter, and an Equal Opportunity Advisor at the General Officer level.

It is essential to remember the published purpose of the EO program.  The purported goal is achieving racial equality for all members of the army.  This dovetails with the mission of the US Army Recruiting Command.  Recruiting Command teaches its recruiters the ultimate goal is to make the army look like the civilian population, and the EO program directly supports this mission.  If the stated goal is the genuine mission then the EO program is an abject failure. The racial overtones were soon supplemented by a desire to ensure the Army sought gender equality creating a lethal cocktail that would severely damage combat effectiveness.

How can the vaunted EO program be a failure with its vast oversight and social engineering directives?  Remember when the program started?   What was the makeup of the army in the 1970s and where are we now after nearly four decades in the pursuit of racial/gender harmony and equality.  The earliest substantive data available is from FY 83.  The draft ended in 1973 providing the army 10 years with oversight to attain the EO goals.  I said the EO program failed to achieve its goal of equality and mirroring our society.

Statistically, very little has changed concerning the racial makeup of the army.  We are still within 5 percentage points of Whites and 4% of Blacks after all these years.  The total number of black officers has marginally increased during this time period.  Oddly though, the greatest increase is in the Warrant Officer field, not the commissioned officer field.

According to the US Census Bureau, the Army does not reflect the two largest racial populations in the country.  Whites represent 75.1% and Black or African America represents 12.3% of the population.  These numbers indicate a wide disparity from the population and the active duty army. So then, what is the true purpose of the EO program in the Army if not racial/gender harmony and equality?  I told you in the beginning; the ultimate goal of the program is the feminization of our military making them ineffective to fight the collectivist’s agenda as they attempt to take over our country without firing a single shot.

The collectivists are winning the war of control by making the army ineffective to stop domestic enemies.  I am not saying our army is an ineffective combat force outside of our borders.  They are still the best soldiers in the world when not restrained by the civilians appointed/anointed over them.  The problem is the civilians appointed/anointed are the same political pedigree that initiated the EO program with the singular goal of neutering them.  They must eliminate them as a force capable of protecting the citizenry from an internal enemy.  What tools are the collectivists/social engineers using to take the masculinity from our combat forces and making them no more capable than the sheeple they are sworn to protect against all enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC?

The Army EO program permeates every layer of the army, from the top to bottom.  Remember the political officers of the old Soviet Union, the zampolits?  Their assignment was to spread the communist dogma, train troops, and report on commanders who were not faithful to party doctrine in the USSR.  Welcome to the Army EO program.  The Army has these social engineering commissars at every level of command.  They go under the name of Equal Opportunity Advisors, Equal Opportunity Representatives, and Program Managers.  The majority of these people do not even realize they are tools of the collectivist agenda.  These individuals provide the oversight, training (indoctrination), and reporting on all aspects of the program.  Their underlying function is the intimidation of all members of the army, ensuring strict adherence to guidance from the collectivist masters.  The bullying of soldiers is possible by making each soldier answerable to the same level of punishment as an alleged perpetrator.  If they fail to report ANY known or suspected violation of policy this is the threat held over them.  How would this play out in the civilian world?  You know or suspect a neighbor is guilty of a crime and fail to report it for whatever reason: fear of reprisal, complacency, or simply unsure of the facts, you would face stiff penalties along with the perpetrator of the crime.  A soldier can be convicted and sent to prison along with the actual perpetrator of the alleged crime.  This is what a soldier faces from the vaunted EO program.  Might this instill a fear of the system and the commissars appointed over them?

How do they inculcate soldiers to continue to support the program and report violators?  One strategic tool available to EO personnel for this noxious social engineering is the Consideration of Others Program.  The Consideration of Others Program is mandatory for all commanders. It should be tailored to the specific needs of local commands. Commanders will implement “Consideration of Others” training down to detachment, platoon, or squad level. The EO program’s execution effectively seeks to indoctrinate soldiers from the highest to the lowest level of the army.  What is the stated goal of the program?  Consideration of Others program is a tool which focuses on the vital linkage between the individual soldier and his or her role as a member of a military team. The capability of each of your soldiers to recognize that their attitudes, actions, and words affect others in the unit; and their willingness to take responsibility for those actions, and words- to the point of changing them when necessary -is what Consideration of Others is all about. A primary result of the EO program is a soldier can no longer simply state something they believe, they must consider the consequences of the statement, right or wrong, on their career.  What if someone does not like what is said?  Will they file a complaint?  Will an investigator judge the soldier fairly?  This makes for combat ineffectiveness instead of the stated goal of unit cohesion and combat effectiveness.  Leaders now have to weigh everything said to ensure it does not violate someone’s sensibilities, extremely dangerous for a force tasked to protect the populace from its enemies.  The program SOUNDS good, which is an underlying trait of a good subversion tactic in pursuit of the goal of minimizing the force’s ability to react to the enemy.  Let’s look at some of the topics of this great program the social engineers deem appropriate in maintaining a combat ready force.

I am going to address the top level of the Consideration of Other’s topics and provide the reader with the link to peruse the manual in detail.  First, let’s look at how the Army describes the program.

“Consideration of Others is those actions that indicate a sensitivity to and regard for the feelings and needs of others and an awareness of the impact of one’s own behavior on them…”

The key here is social engineers desire all soldiers to be sensitive to others.  How can we believe this sensitivity does not affect combat effectiveness or have long-lasting effects on the force?  During past wars, soldier training taught them to hate the enemy to prevent hesitation in combat and possible debilitating grief when faced with taking another human life.  This can be a factor in the difference between the levels of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) of past conflicts compared to the statistics of current combat veterans.  Today’s soldier must feel first and react second.  The enemy is not truly a bad guy, simply misguided.  What teaching tool do EO personnel use to achieve sensitivity to others, enemies included?  A primary tool is the Consideration of Others Program.  The tasks trained include: alcohol and drug abuse, Equal Opportunity complaint procedures and identification of extremism and extremist organizations, among others

On the surface some of these classes may seem acceptable.  This is how the collectivists’ sell a package to the populace in general, and the Army in particular.  If parts of a program seem innocent enough, acceptance is much easier for the whole enterprise, including the aspects to adjust a culture.  Remember the story of the frog.  One can place a frog in a pot of cold water and slowly bring it to a boil.  The frog will happily stay in the pot until it boils to death because the change was gradual.  The collectivist engineers are accomplishing the same task with our army.  They are slowly castrating its collective manhood in their pursuit of a feminized force, no longer able to identify the domestic enemy or protect the populace from the creeping transformations of America to a socialist state.

The main problem the EO agenda faces is the simmering resentment of the ranks who are constantly battered with the agenda.  What do they do with these individuals?  The last four decades are replete with soldiers who failed to swallow the collectivist scheme, hook, line, and sinker.

In response to these individuals, the EO program and commanders who have attached themselves to the program actively seek to punish the non-conformists.  One may not agree with the current fight but generally cannot discount their capabilities as a fighting force.  The greatest amongst them are the ones who are not susceptible to collectivist agenda.  These warriors are minimized at best, court-martialed at worst.  Our illustrious government/media complex attacks these warriors relentlessly with a vengeance and the complete backing of spineless members of congress.  Some of these same congresspersons publicly condemn them without a shred of evidence and show no remorse when proved liars.  These warriors are left to defend themselves against an army of lawyers, press, and public opinion with their one court appointed public defender.  If they desire better representation, it is up to their families and friends to bear the cost.  It is a simple collectivist tactic: identify an enemy, marginalize them and then destroy them.  They actually make them the enemy.  So what happens next?

The survival of our country may depend on the Army’s leadership recognizing it has been duped and reversing course.  If they do not realize our country is facing its greatest threat from a collectivist agenda then I fear doom for our future generations.  Our children’s children will fight the next battle for freedom on our soil because we gave it away without a whimper.

“Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks.  Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools.  And their grandchildren are once more slaves.”

~D.H. Lawrence 1922

© usarmyguyretired 2009

Village Praxis Series: The Hez Festival of Tools and Repairs Part II

Isaac Davis (1745 – April 19, 1775) was a militia officer in the American Revolution. Davis led the first attack on the British Regular army during the American revolutionary war, and was the first to die in that battle.

He was captain of the Acton Minutemen, and his men were possibly the best trained and equipped militia in New England. A gunsmith, he provided every man with a cartridge box to aid in rapid fire and a bayonet for hand-to-hand combat. His company assembled twice weekly for drills and marksmanship.

A Note on Selecting Quality Tools

Tools should not be an expendable item. I recommend paying more upfront for a quality item than buying a cheaper tool over and over again due to breakage. That being said, “used” does not always equate to cheap. Due to the current downturn in home construction, many high quality, “name brand” tools are available in pawn shops and second hand through garage sales, craigslist, and the classified section of your newspaper. I highly recommend checking the second hand market first before purchasing new. Some items may be worth the retail price- Used saw blades may be dull, and therefore unsafe, and while one can spend some quality time with a mill file sharpening them, it may be worth it to you to buy new.

As far as selecting hand tools, one can easily tell the difference between a well made tool and its cheaper cousin. For example, hold a Craftsman or Snap-On wrench in one hand and a cheap “Made in China” Wal-Mart wrench in the other. You will notice the difference in weight. Such a difference could be due to the material types (steel vs aluminum) or that the cheaper tool is thinner and made with less material to save costs in manufacturing. Hand tools should fit comfortably in your hand, have a corrosion resistant finish such as chrome, and have a certain heft due to the robustness of their construction.

That being said, imported does not necessarily mean poorly made. See the tool in person; ask your friends and do some research before making an investment. I have had a good experience with the Lowes Kobalt brand, which are made in China and a disappointing experience with a set of “Made in the USA” Stanley screwdrivers.

Tool List- The basics

Safety Equipment

Safety glasses

Leather gloves

Hearing protection

Hand Tools

A set of flat head and Philips head screw drivers

A set of combination (box and open end) wrenches

A set of socket wrenches

A set of hex keys

Mill File

Round file

A 16 ounce claw hammer

Utility knife

Carpenters Pencil- the flat shape keeps it from rolling away.

Vise grips



Pliers- both fixed joint and needle nose


Wire strippers

Extra: Tool belt. All of the items above, except the wrench sets, hex keys, saws and files (files should be stored in their packaging in a tool box or drawer), can be comfortably carried in a tool belt. Having these commonly used items in a tool belt means less trips up and down ladders, into the garage or away hunting for a #2 philips screw driver.

Measuring and Layout (You are only as good as your measurements. I would gladly pay more for quality measuring equipment than almost any other tool)

16 or 25ft tape measure

Speed square

Carpenter’s square

Combination square

Spirit level- the longer the level, the more accurate the reading. A 3-4 foot length is probably good for most tasks

Plumb bob

Extras- feeler gauges, dial caliper, 100 ft tape measure, chalk lines,

Power tools (Cordless versions cost more and unless you have a bank of batteries, your battery will run out in the middle of a task)

Power drill and bits

Circular saw with a 7 ¼” blade. Recommend buying both rip and cross cut blades. Smaller blade sizes are available, but are not nearly as efficient.

Jig saw- somewhat optional but cuts curved lines faster than a hand coping saw and is less expensive than a bench top or stand alone band saw

Compound Miter Saw- again an optional purchase, but makes angled cuts and compound angled cuts a breeze. Recommend a 10” or larger blade.

Belt Sander

Random orbital sander

Extras- hammer drill, dremel tool, router

Shop Equipment

Good lighting

A good stable work bench with a vise

A pair of saw horses

A tool box or boxes to protect and organize your tools

C-clamps- 4” and 6”

Extension cords (heavy gage in 25 and 50 ft lengths)

Surge protector/ power strip

Extras- Bench grinder, air compressor, shop vac for dust collection/ clean up

A note on shop set up:

I come from an aerospace and medical device manufacturing background. After working in those environments, I believe that a good workshop is clean, well lit and organized. An unorganized shop is a time vampire as you have to hunt to find where you left a particular tool or part and an unclean or dark workshop is a safety hazard. I find it is not conducive to quality work when you cannot see your measuring equipment or markings. One can get more done in a small basement, garage or outbuilding that is clean, well lit and organized vs a large, dark working area that has tools scattered about. If you are setting up your first shop or wanting to reorganize your current one, take the time to plan. I recommend measuring your working area and use graph paper to plan out how your shop will be set up. You will be surprised of how you can maximize space by planning ahead and minimize time spent looking for stuff by planning where tools, material and equipment will be stored. If you have a large shop with lots of bins, tool chests and racks, a label maker will make your life easier as you can label what is in each drawer, rack and bin. This also helps when you are under the sink keeping the water in the pipes and you’ve sent the youngling to get a 1” wrench; it assists in them coming back with the right item and not a Sawzall.


Wood Glue


Liquid Wrench


Machine oil

Pin punches

Center punch

Nail sets (for driving nails flush without leaving a hammer mark on the wood’s surface)


Now that we’ve outlined a basic list, some of you may be wondering how to acquire these without dropping an absolute ton of money. As we mentioned before, second hand sources definitely help alleviate the cost. I’ve personally acquired much of what I have on a task by task basis. For example, I purchased a compound miter saw when installing crown molding in my house and then used it for wood flooring and back deck projects. I recommend factoring the cost of tools needed into a project’s estimate. Some tools should almost always be rented though- Unless you plan on starting a tile business, it is more cost effective to rent a tile saw rather than buy one. I do recommend buying certain things as sets, such as wrenches, because without a doubt, once you’ve individually bought  1/4″, 1/2″, 3/4” and 1” wrenches, you will need a 7/16″ wrench to repair something critical at 11 o’clock at night.

A parting thought- How many trips to Home Depot does the average project require? Just one more

Part 1 is our review of Shop Class as Soulcraft

As always, your suggestions are welcome in the comments section.

Village Praxis Series: The Dan Forrester Memorial Library

I am reprinting this from Mike V over at  I was inspired to travel down this rabbit hole by the latest contribution by A Country Gentleman.  He and I are both incurable bibliophiles who have substantial library holdings (I have a library annex in my house at the Circle A Ranch).  The coming bad times are surely a signal to start accumulating a non-electronic portfolio of texts and tomes that sustain you and yours in the approaching of Ragnarok.  The list is long and encyclopedic but it speaks to the innumerable invisible infrastructures that make our lives rather effortless…for now.


Mike V avers:

For almost as long as I can remember, I have been a fan of the science fiction of Jerry Pournelle. His books with Larry Niven were always great and my favorite was Lucifer’s Hammer, about what happens when a comet strikes the earth. My favorite character in that book is Dr. Dan Forrester, a meek and mild ex-astrophysicist from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who saves the day when the Stronghold is attacked by a cannibal army.

Before leaving his indefensible home to journey toward the safety of Senator Jellison’s ranch, Forrester goes through his extensive library, culling out books that he believes will be helpful in rebuilding a civilization. He stores them, suitably protected in zip lock bags, in his old septic tank.

Now, I have also been a fan of library sales, yard sales and thrift stores and over the past few years, I have accumulated a collection of books that may one day be useful, never paying more than a couple of bucks for them (more often, less than a dollar) and once, an old widow lady who was moving to a condo gave me some boxes of her husband’s books (he had been a civil engineer).

After accumulating a number of these, I decided that they needed to be stored in a weatherproof fashion. Those of you who have read some of my stuff on caching know that I am a big fan (and diligent scrounger) of five gallon icing buckets from grocery store bakeries. Thus, it was natural for me to use these to begin storing my cheap book finds. I have dubbed these the Dan Forrester Memorial Library.

Mind you, this does not include any books that I have need of and refer to in my writing and research. Nor does it include my extensive collection of military field and tech manuals, which I have stored in big steel USGI 20mm ammo cans. If you see some gaps in my collecting, it is probably just because those topics are still on my book shelves in the library in my basement.

A friend of mine who visited the other day noted my DFML buckets and began reading the contents off the labels. He got all excited and said I should let my blog readers know about this cheap method of storing knowledge that might come in handy one day, if, as and when. So, here it is, the current holdings of the Dan Forrester Memorial Library. If this motivates some of y’all to go and do likewise, it certainly can’t hurt if you do it on the cheap as I have — free buckets and mostly fifty cent books.


Bucket # 1

Standard Handbook for Civil Engineers, Frederick S. Merritt, Second Edition, McGraw-Hill 1976

Tubular Steel Structures: Theory & Design, M.S. Troitsky, Arc Welding Foundation, 1982

Design of Welded Structures, O.W. Blodgett, Arc Welding Foundation, 1966

The Engineer’s Handbook Illustrated, Arthur Liebers, Key Publishing, NY, 1968

Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual, EPA, 2002

Smoleys Parallel Tables of Logarithms & Squares for Engineers, Architects and Students, C.P. Smoley, 1965

Bucket # 2

Gear Cutting Practice: Methods of Producing Gears for Commercial Use Including Wartime Data Supplement, Fred Colvin & Frank Stanley, McGraw-Hill, 1943

Punches and Dies: Layout, Construction and Use Including Wartime Data Supplement, Frank Stanley, McGraw-Hill, 1943

Turning and Boring Practice, Modern Machine Tools and Methods Used in Representative Plants, Fred Colvin & Frank Stanley, McGraw-Hill, 1943

Jigs and Fixtures, Fred Colvin & Lucius Haas, McGraw-Hill, 1943

Steam Power Plants, Philip J. Potter, Ronald Press, 1949

The Home Mechanic’s Handbook: Encyclopedia of Tools, Materials, Methods and Directions, Various Authors, D. Van Nostrand, 1945

Strength of Materials, Alfred Pourman, McGraw-Hill, 1937

Home Plumber’s Bible, Ramesh Singhai, McGraw-Hill, 1978

Electric Motor Repair, Robert Rosenberg, 1946

Interior Electric Wiring and Estimating, Albert Uhl, Arthur Nelson and Carl Dunlap, American Technical Society, 1947

Electrical Wiring: Residential, William J. Whitney, Wiley and Sons, 1979

Practical Electrical Wiring: Residential, Farm and Industrial, H.P. Richter, McGraw-Hill, 1947

Bucket # 3

The Backyard Builder, Edited by John Warde, Rodale, 1985

Residential Carpentry, Mortimer P. Reed, Wiley & Sons, 1980

Essential of Drafting, James D. Bethune, Prentice Hall, 1977

The Homeowner’s Book of Plumbing and Repair, K.W. Sessions, Wiley & Sons, 1978

Complete Encyclopedia of Stitchery, Mildred Graves Ryan, Doubleday, 1979

The Practical Handyman’s Encyclopedia (3 volumes of 22 total)

Bucket # 4

The Timber Framing Book, Elliott and Wallas, Housesmith, 1977

Book of Bikes and Bicycling, Dick Teresi, Popular Mechanics, 1975

Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, 1976

Readers Digest Back to Basics: How to Learn and Enjoy Traditional American Skills, 1981

Readers Digest Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual, 1973

Reader’s Digest Practical Problem Solver, 1992

Earl Proux’s Yankee Home Hints, Yankee Books, 1993

Yankee Magazine’s Make It Last by Earl Proux, Yankee Books, 1996

Whittlin’, Whistles and Thingamajigs, Harlan G. Metcalfe, Castle, 1974

Bucket # 5

Basic Construction Techniques for Houses and Small Buildings Simply Explained, United States Navy, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Dover Press, 1972

Tools and How To Use Them, Jackson and Day, Wings Books, 1992

The Homestead Builder, CP Dwyer, Lyons Press, 1872/1998

Carpenter’s and Builder’s Library: Millwork, Power Tools and Painting, John E. Ball, Audells, 1976

Carpenter’s and Builder’s Library: Tools, Steel Square, and Joinery, John E. Ball, Audells, 1978

Carpenter’s and Builder’s Library:Builder’s Math, Plans and Specifications, John E. Ball, Audells, 1978

The Practical Handyman’s Encyclopedia (10 volumes of 22 total)

Bucket # 6

The Practical Handyman’s Encyclopedia (9 volumes of 22 total)

Architectural Drawings and Light Construction, Second Edition, Edward J. Muller, Prentice Hall, 1976

Freshwater Fishes, Lawrence Page and Brooks Burr, Peterson, 1991

Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs, George Petrides, Peterson, 1972

Bucket # 7

Piloting, Seamanship and Small Boat Handling, Charles F. Chapman, Hearst Press, 1966

McClane’s Standard Fishing Encyclopedia and International Angling Guide, Editied by A.J. McClane, Holt-Rinehart, 1965

The Complete Book of Canoeing and Kayaking, Paul Fillingham, Drake, 1976

The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, John Rousmaniere, Simon & Shuster, 1989

Heat Engines: Steam, Gas, Steam Turbines and their Auxiliaries, J.R. Allen and J.A. Bursley, McGraw-Hill, 1910.

Architectural Graphic Standards, G.G. Ramsey and H.R. Sleeper, Wiley & Sons, 1962

The Metal Trades Handbook, R.G. Garby and B.J. Ashton, Jasper, 1985

Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians, J.L. Behler and F.W. King, Knopf, 1979

Bucket # 8

The Way Things Work, An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Technology, Volume One, Simon & Schuster, 1967

The Way Things Work, Volume Two, Simon & Schuster, 1971

The New Way Things Work, David Macaulay, Houghton-Mifflin, 1998.

Logan’s Medical and Scientific Abbreviations, Carolynn Logan & M. Katherine Price, Lippincott, 1987

Complete Book of Athletic Taping Techniques, J.V. Cerney, Parker, 1972

Basic Carpentry, John Capotosto, Reston, 1975

The Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding, 12th Edition, Lincoln Electric Company, 1973

The Encyclopedia of Common Diseases, Prevention Magazine, 1976

What Herbs are all About: A Basic Primer Outlining the Practical Uses of Medicinal Plants, J.J. Challem & Renate Levin-Challem, Keats, 1980

Bucket # 9

English Bread and Yeast Cookery, Elizabeth David, Biscuit Books, 1977

The Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies, Editors of Prevention Magazine, Rodale, 1990

Gardening for Food and Fun, USDA Yearbook, 1977

Grass, USDA Yearbook, 1948

Crockett’s Victory Garden, James Crockett, Little-Brown, 1977

Complete Guide to Sewing, Reader’s Digest, 1976

Advanced Home Gardening, Miranda Smith, Creative Homeowner Press, no date

Pastures for the South, George H. King, Creative, 1954

Fruits for the Home Garden, Ken & Pat Kraft, Morrow, 1968

The Best Gardening Ideas I Know, Robert Rodale, Rodale Press, 1974

The Best Gardening Ideas I Know, Robert Rodale, Rodale Press, 1978

Bucket # 10

The Wise Garden Encyclopedia: A Practical and Convenient Guide to Every Detail of Gardening Written for All Climates, Soils, Seasons and Methods, Ed. by E.L.D. Seymour, Grossett & Dunlap, 1970

Betty Crocker’s Kitchen Gardens, Mary Mason Campbell, Scribners, 1971

Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health, D.C. Jarvis, M.D., Henry Holt, 1958

10,000 Garden Questions, Volume One, Ed. by F.F. Rockwell, Doubleday, 1959

How to Treat Yourself with Chinese Herbs, Dr. Hong-Yen Hsu, Keats, 1980

Ferns of Alabama by Blanche E. Dean, Southern University Press, 1969

Today’s Herbal Health, Louise Tenney, Woodland, 1983

The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, Organic Gardening Magazine, Rodale Press, 1978

The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control, Ed. by B.W. Ellis & F.M. Bradley, Rodale, 1992

An American Herbal: Using Plants for Healing, Nelson Coon, Rodale, 1979

Stalking the Good Life, Euell Gibbons, McKay, 1971

Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, E. Mindell, Fireside, 1992

Bucket # 11

Herb Gardening in the Five Seasons, A.G. Simmons, Dutton, 1964

The Alternative Pharmacy, Dr. L.P. Walker & E.H. Brown, J.D., Prentice-Hall, 1998

Herbs for Your Health, Steven Foster, Interweave Press, 1996

Rodales Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, Ed. by C. Kowalchik & W.H. Hylton, Rodale, 1987

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database 2002, 4th Edition, Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2002

Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, Andrew Cevallier, DK Publishing, 1996

Southern Herb Growing, M. Hill & G. Barclay, Shearer, 1987

Herb Gardening in the South, Sol Meltzer, Gulf Publishing, 1977

The Complete German E Monographs — Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines, Blumenthal, et. al., American Botanical Council, 1998

Herbs for Use and Delight, D.J. Foley, Herb Society of America, 1974

Bucket # 12

Magill’s Medical Guide: Health and Illness, Five Volumes, Salem Press, 1995

Daffodils Are Dangerous: The Poisonous Plants in Your Garden, Hubert Creekmore, Walker, 1966

The Amateur’s Guide to Caves and Caving, David R. McClurg, Stackpole, 1973

Practical Electrical Wiring: Residential, Farm & Industrial, H.R. Richter & W.C. Schwan, 13th Edition, McGraw-Hill, 1984

Grey’s Anatomy, Bounty Books, NY, 1977

Bucket # 13

Nurse’s Reference Library: Emergencies, Springhouse Pub., 1985

Nurse’s Reference Library: Diseases, Springhouse Pub., 1985

Nurse’s Reference Library: Signs & Symptoms, Springhouse Pub., 1986

Nurse’s Reference Library: Assessment, Springhouse Pub., 1984

Nurse’s Reference Library: Procedures, Springhouse Pub., 1985

Locksmithing, Bill Phillips, McGraw-Hill, 2000

Dr. Chase’s Combination Receipt Book, Dickerson, 1915

Bucket # 14

Dr. Chase’s Family Physician, Farrier, Bee Keeper and Second Receipt Book, Chase Pub., 1881

The Merck Veterinary Manual, 4th Edition, Ed. by O.H. Siegmund, Merck, 1973

A Synopsis of Anesthesia, J. Alfred Lee & R.S. Atkinson, Williams & Wilkins, 1968

The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs and Biologicals, 12th Edition, Merck, 1996

Physician’s Desk Reference, 60th Edition, Thomson, 2006

Bucket # 15

Wild Flowers: 364 Full Color Illustrations with Complete Descriptive Text, Homer D. House, MacMillan, 1967

A Natural History of Trees of Eastern and Central North America, Donald C. Peattie, Bonanza, 1963

Guide for All-Hazard Emergency Operations Planning, FEMA, 1996

Design Modification Studies, Office of Civil Defense, DOD, 1968

Elevated Residential Structures, FEMA, 1984

Coastal Construction Manual, FEMA, 1986

Risks and Hazards, State By State, FEMA, 1980

The Progressive Farmers Do-It-Yourself Weather Book, Tim Campbell, Oxmoor House, 1979

The US Cavalry Horse, Gen. William H. Carter, Lyons Press reprint of 1895 original

Horses: Their Selection, Care and Handling, M.C. Self, Wilshire, 1971

The Art of Riding, LTC M.F. McTaggart, Bonanza, 1951

The Way Things Work, David Macaulay, Houghton-Mifflin, 1988

Practical Electricity, Robert G. Middleton, Audel, 1983

Bucket # 16

Basic Electricity, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Dover Press, 1970

Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlework, 1979

The Hunter’s World, Charles F. Waterman, Ridge Press (no date)

Textiles, N. Hollen & J. Saddler, Collier-Macmillan, 1973

Residential Construction, William Ventolo, RECo, Chicago, 1979

Biology of Animals, Hichman, Roberts & Hickman, Times-Mirror, 1990

Navigation and Nautical Astronomy, Commander Benjamin Dutton, US Naval Institute, 1943

Book of Pregnancy and Child Care, P.S. Pasqnariello, M.D., Wiley, 1999

Complete Book of Breast Feeding, Marvin S. Eger, M.D. & Sally Olds, Workman, 1999

Fur Farming, A.R. Harding, Harding Press, Columbus, OH, 1909/1920

Route Survey and Design, 4th Edition, Carl F. Meyer, International Textbooks, 1969

Bucket # 17

Horticulture, R. Gordon Halfacre & John A. Bardle, McGraw-Hill, 1979

CIBA Collection of Medical Illustrations, Frank Netter, CIBA, 1948

Food Animal Surgery, J.L. Noordsy, DVM, VM Publishing, 1978

Architectural Drawing & Light Construction, E.J. Muller & J.G. Fausett, Prentice Hall, 1973

The Carpenter’s Manifesto: A Total Guide thet takes the Mystery out of Carpentry for Everybody, J. Erhlich & M. Mannheimer, Henry Holt, 1990

Manual of IV Medications, Lynn Phillips & M.A. Kuhn, Lippincott/Raven, 1999

Instrument Flying, Richard L. Taylor, MacMillan, 1972

Eddie Bauer Guide to Backpacking, Archie Satterfield & Eddie Bauer, Addison Wesley, 1983

Guide and Key to Alabama Trees, Donald E. Davis & Norman D. Davis, Kendall-Hunt, 1975

Muskrat Farming, James Edwards, Fur Farmers Publishing, 1928

Electrical Engineering Pocket Handbook, EASB, 1997

Basic Electricity, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Dover, 1970

Basic Electronics, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Dover, 1984

Training Your Dog, Joachim Volhard & Gail. T. Fisher, Howell, 1983

Bucket # 18

Principles of Electrical Engineering, Vincent Del Toro, Prentice-Hall, 1965

Structural Steel Design, Lynn S. Beedle,, Ronald Press, 1964

Reinforced Concrete Fundamentals, Phil Ferguson, John Wiley, 1965

Manual of Steel Construction, 6th Edition, AISC, 1964

Elementary Structural Analysis, C.H. Norris & J.B. Wilbur, McGraw-Hill, 1960

Design of Concrete Structures, L.C. Urquhart & C.E. O’Rourke, McGraw-Hill, 1946

Concrete Pipe Handbook, H.F. Peckworth, ACPA, 1965

Principles of Fluid Mechanics, Salomon Ezkinazi, Allyn & Bacon, 1963

Manual of Steel Construction, 8th Edition, AISC, 1980

Structural Engineering, J.E. Kirkham, McGraw-Hill, 1933

Reinforced Concrete Design Handbook, Thor Germundsson, American Concrete Institute, 1955

Bucket # 19

Surveying Theory & Practice, R.E. Davis & F.S. Foote, 4th Edition, McGraw-Hill, 1953

Highway Engineering, L.J. Ritter & R.J. Paguette, Ronald Press, 1960

Engineering Mechanics, Vol. II Dynamics, Archie Higdon & W.B. Stiles, Prentice-Hll, 1962

Manual of Steel Construction, 8th Edition, AISC, 1980

Introductory Soil Mechanics & Foundations, G.A. Sowers & George F. Sowers, MacMillan, 1961

Hydrology for Engineers, R.K. Linsley,, McGraw-Hill, 1958

Engineering Materials, Committee on Engineering Materials, Pitman Publications, 1958

Elementary Fluid Mechanics, J.K. Vennard, John Wiley, 1954

Route Surveying, Carl F. Meyer, International Textbooks, 1963

Koehler Merhod of Dog Training, William Koehler, Howell, 1983

Elementary Surveying, C.B. Breed & G.L. Hosmer, John Wiley, 1945

Higher Surveying, C.B. Breed & G.L. Hosmer, John Wiley, 1947

Complete Sport Parachuting Guide, Charles Shea-Simmonds, A.C. Black, 1986

Bucket # 20

Once An Eagle by Anton Myrer

The Yale Shakespeare, Shakespeare of Stratford
The Yale Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s Poems
The Yale Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s Sonnets
The Yale Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Yale Shakespeare, All’s Well That Ends Well
The Yale Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra
The Yale Shakespeare, As You Like It
The Yale Shakespeare, Coriolanus
The Yale Shakespeare, Cymbeline
The Yale Shakespeare, Hamlet
The Yale Shakespeare, Henry the Eighth
The Yale Shakespeare, Henry the Fifth
The Yale Shakespeare, Henry the Fourth, Part I
The Yale Shakespeare, Henry the Fourth, Part II
The Yale Shakespeare, Henry the Sixth, Part I
The Yale Shakespeare, Henry the Sixth, Part II
The Yale Shakespeare, Henry the Sixth, Part III
The Yale Shakespeare, Julius Ceasar
The Yale Shakespeare, King John
The Yale Shakespeare, King Lear
The Yale Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost
The Yale Shakespeare, Macbeth
The Yale Shakespeare, Measue for Measure
The Yale Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing
The Yale Shakespeare, Othello
The Yale Shakespeare, Pericles, Prince of Tyre
The Yale Shakespeare, Richard the Second
The Yale Shakespeare, Richard the Third
The Yale Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
The Yale Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors
The Yale Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
The Yale Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor
The Yale Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew
The Yale Shakespeare, The Tempest
The Yale Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Yale Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale
The Yale Shakespeare, Timon of Athens
The Yale Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus
The Yale Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida

Bucket # 21

Trout: The Trout Fisherman’s Bible, Ray Bergman, Knopf, 1984
Successful Trout Fishing, Richard alden Knight, Dutton, 1968
Complete Beginner’s Guide to Mountain Climbing, Howard E. Smith, Jr., Doubleday, 1977
Herbal Remedies for Women, Amanda m. Crawford, Prima, 1997
The Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies, Prevention Magazine, Rodale, 1990
The Practical Botanist, Rick Imes, Firesdie, 1990
Salt Water Fly Fishing Handbook, Doubleday, 1973
Birds Worth Knowing, Neltje Blanchan, Doubleday, 1925
Natural Resource Conservation, Oliver S. Owen, MacMillan, 1975
Chemistry, Brown, LeMay & Bursten, Prentice-Hall, 2000
Introductory General Chemistry, Brinkley, MacMillan, 1938
Home Brewing Without Failures, H.E. Bravery, Gramercy, 1965
Country Wines and Cordials: Wild Plant & Herbal Recipes for Drinks Old and New, Wilma Paterson, Omega, 1983

Bucket # 22

Complete Collection of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Berkeley Paperbacks, 1968
The Unabridged Mark Twain, Samuel Clemens, Running Press, 1976
Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, Ed. by Holliman and O’Clair, Norton, 1973
The Illustrated Treasury of the Brother’s Grimm, Derrydale Books, 1988
Kipling: A Selection of His Stories and Poems, Volumers I & II
Literature, Edited by E.V. Roberts and H.E. Jacobs, Prentice Hall, 1995.

Bucket # 23

The Complete Guide to Jewelry Soldering, Sara M. Sanford, Lapidary Journal, 2004
Shortguts to a Perfect Sewing Pattern, Rusty Bensussen, Sterling Publishing, 1989
Step-By-Step Weaving, Nell Znamierowski, Golden Press, 1967
Second Stitches: Recycle as You Sew, Susan D. Parker, Chilton Press, 1993
Singer Sewing Reference Library: Clothing Care and Repair — Extending the Life of Your Clothes, 1985
American Patchwork and Quilting, Ed. by G.M. Knox, Better Homes & Gardens, 1985
The New Candle Book, Gloria Nicol, Lorenz Books, 1995
The New Complete Walker: The Joys and Techniques of Hiking and Backpacking, Colin Fletcher, Knopf, 1974
The Merck Manual of Medical Information, Ed. by Robert Berkow, MD, Pocket Books, 1997
Hands in Clay: An Introduction to Ceramics, C.F. Speight & John Toki, Mayfield, 1995
The Complete Book of Sky Sports: A Basic Course in Parachuting, Soaring, Flying, Gyrocopter, Ballooning, Flying Power Planes, Linn Emrich, Collier, 1970
Encyclopedia of Furniture Making, Ernest Joyce, Barnes & Noble, 1987
A Guide to Field Identification of Trees of North America, C. Frank Brockman, Golden Press, 1968

Bucket # 24

The Collinridge Encyclopedia of Gardening, Arthur Hellyer, Chartwell, 1976
Orvis Fly Fishing Guidem Tom Rosenbauer, Lyons, 1984
Prentice Hall Illustrated Dictionary of Ecology and Plant Life, Martin Walters & Merilyn Holme, Prentice Hall, 1993
Practical Gardening Encyclopedia, Ed. by Roy Hay, Van Nostrand, 1977
Foolproof Planting: How to Successfully Start and Propagate More than 250 Vegetables, Flowers, Trees and Shrubs, Ed. by A.M. Halpin, Rodale Press, 1990
Gardening & Using Healing Herbs, Gaea and Shandor Weiss, Wings, 1999
The Organic Front, J.Rodale, Rodale Press, 1948
Dog Breeding — Theory and Practice, Will Judy, Judy Publishing, 1958
Furniture Finishing, W.I. Fischman, Bobbs Merrill, 1978
Loaded for Bear: A Treasury of Great Hunting Stories, Ed. by Greenberg & Waugh, Bonanza, 1990
Home Repairs Made Easy, Ed. by D.D. Wolf, Delair Publishing, 1979

Bucket # 25

Organic Chemistry Study Guide and Solutions Manual, Susan McMurry, Fifth Edition, Brooks-Cole, 2000.
Standard handbook for Electrical Engineers, Fink & Beaty, Eleventh Edition, McGraw-Hill, 1978
Good Housekeeping Complete Book of Needlecraft, Vera P. Guild, Doubleday, 1959
Metal Techniques for Craftsmen: A Basic Manual on the Methods of Forming and Decorating Metals, Oppi Untracht, Doubleday, 1968
How to Supervise People, Alfred M. Cooper, McGraw-Hill, 1941
Whittling and Woodcarving, E.J. Tangerman, Dover, 1962
New Short Cuts to Construction Profits, Engineering News-Record, 1936
The Finely Fitted Yacht, Ferenc Mate, Volumes 1 & 2, Norton, 1979

Bucket # 26
Selected Works of Cicero, Walter J. Black, 1948
Selected Essays of Montaigne, Walter J. Black, 1948
Five Great Dialogues, Plato, Walter J. Black, 1948
Meditations, Marcus Aurelius, Walter J. Black, 1948
On Man in the Universe, Aristotle, Walter J. Black, 1948
Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Row, 1981
On the Backs of Plum Creek, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Row, 1981
Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Row, 1981
Farmer Boy, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Row, 1981
By the Shores of Silver Lake, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Row, 1981
The Long Winter, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Row, 1981
These Happy Golden Years, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Row, 1981
The First Four Years, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Row, 1981
Little Town on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Row, 1981
Elizabethan Drama, Marlowe-Shakespeare, Harvard Classics, 1969
Reader’s Digest Fun & Laughter, Reader’s Digest, 1967
The World’s Great Thinkers, 4 Volumes, Random House, 1972

Bucket # 27
The Tent Book, E.M. Hatton, Mifflin, 1979.
Singer Sewing Book, Mary Picken, Singer, 1951
Game Birds of North America, Leonard Rue III, Harper 1973
Encyclopedia of Comman Diseases, Prevention, 1976
Anthology of American Literature: Colonial through Romantic, Ed. bvy George McMichael, MacMillan, 1980
Wildlife Management on Your Land, Charles L. Cadieux, Stackpole, 1985
Find Fish Anywhere, Anytime, Joseph D. Bates & Mark Straub, North American Fishing Club, 1991
Freshwater Fishing Secrets, Jay M. Strangis, NAFC, 1990
How to Build Clocks and watches, Byron G. Wels, Vertex, 1971
Clock Repairing as a Hobby, Harold C. Kelly, Association Press, 1972.

Bucket # 28
Fundamentals of Machine Component Design, Robert Juvinhall & Kurt Marshek, Wiley, 1991
Organic Plant Protection, Ed. by R.B. Yepson, Jr., Rodale, 1976
Our Soils and Their Management, R.L. Donahue, R.H. Follett, R.W. Tulloch, Interstate, 1983
Weeds of the World: Biology and Control, Lawrence J. King, Leonard Hill, 1966
The Natural Formula Book for Home & Yard, Ed. by Dan Wallace, Rodale, 1982
Beneficial Insects, Lester Swan, Harper, 1964
Garden Friends and Foes, Richard Headstrom, Washburn, 1954
All About Apples, Alice Martin, Houghton Mifflin, 1976
Pruning Guide for Trees, Shrubs and Vines, Tom Stevenson, Luce, 1964
Plant Viruses and Virus Diseases, F.C. Bawden, Ronald Press, 1964

Bucket # 29
Hydroelectric Handbook, William Creager & Joel Justin, Wiley, 1950
Engineering for Dams, in Three Volumes, William Creager, Joel Justin & Julian Hinds, Wiley, 1945
Irrigation Engineering, Volume 1, Agricultural & Hydrological Phases, Ivan Houk, Wiley, 1951
An Introduction to American Forestry, S.W. Allen & G.W. Sharpe, McGraw-Hill, 1960
Sugar Cane Around the World: An Evaluation and Comparison of the Practices of Sugar Cane Cultivation, A.H. Rosenfeld, University of Chicage, 1955
A Guide to Good Wine, Allan Sichel,, Murray’s, London, 1971
Jerry Baker’s Outdoor Garden answer Book,

Jerry Baker, Grosset & Dunlap, 1976

The Hez Book Alert- Shop Class as Soul Craft

A Country Gentleman

It seems that during every shift in the fundamentals of industry, there has been an intrinsic reaction on the part of man to protect the older forms of production as a means to alleviate the perceived threat of the looming change. One example would be the original saboteurs, who were so named by throwing their wooden clogs, or sabots, into the gears of automated looms. Another example would be the arts and crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which sought to provide the newly minted white collar industrial manager with a weekend outlet via the manual arts.

The latest entry into this tradition is Michael Crawford’s Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work.  Crawford’s work is a serious philosophic examination of the value of the manual trades, specifically those who build and repair material things. Crawford has serious credibility both as an academic, with a PhD in Political Philosophy from the University of Chicago, and as a mechanic since he owns and operates Shockoe Moto in Richmond, Virginia. Crawford’s theses is that as the American economy rapidly shifted from manufacturing to nebulous “knowledge work”, we began a sort of cultural schizophrenia, where consumption and the management consultant’s definition of “creativity” replaced skill with tools and a certain level of mechanical competence and experiential knowledge about how things worked.

Crawford’s work first appeared in an essay in The New Atlantis Magazine. Since Mr. Crawford can summarize his points better than I could, here is a brief excerpt:

“A decline in tool use would seem to betoken a shift in our mode of inhabiting the world: more passive and more dependent. And indeed, there are fewer occasions for the kind of spiritedness that is called forth when we take things in hand for ourselves, whether to fix them or to make them. What ordinary people once made, they buy; and what they once fixed for themselves, they replace entirely or hire an expert to repair, whose expert fix often involves installing a pre-made replacement part.

So perhaps the time is ripe for reconsideration of an ideal that has fallen out of favor: manual competence, and the stance it entails toward the built, material world. Neither as workers nor as consumers are we much called upon to exercise such competence, most of us anyway, and merely to recommend its cultivation is to risk the scorn of those who take themselves to be the most hard-headed: the hard-headed economist will point out the opportunity costs of making what can be bought, and the hard-headed educator will say that it is irresponsible to educate the young for the trades, which are somehow identified as the jobs of the past. But we might pause to consider just how hard-headed these presumptions are, and whether they don’t, on the contrary, issue from a peculiar sort of idealism, one that insistently steers young people toward the most ghostly kinds of work.”

In particular, the modern education system also comes onto the carpet for criticism. This excerpt from a NYT Magazine article clearly articulates his, and presumably many others, frustration with the current state of government schools:

If the goal is to earn a living, then, maybe it isn’t really true that 18-year-olds need to be imparted with a sense of panic about getting into college (though they certainly need to learn). Some people are hustled off to college, then to the cubicle, against their own inclinations and natural bents, when they would rather be learning to build things or fix things. One shop teacher suggested to me that “in schools, we create artificial learning environments for our children that they know to be contrived and undeserving of their full attention and engagement. Without the opportunity to learn through the hands, the world remains abstract and distant, and the passions for learning will not be engaged.”

A gifted young person who chooses to become a mechanic rather than to accumulate academic credentials is viewed as eccentric, if not self-destructive. There is a pervasive anxiety among parents that there is only one track to success for their children. It runs through a series of gates controlled by prestigious institutions. Further, there is wide use of drugs to medicate boys, especially, against their natural tendency toward action, the better to “keep things on track.” I taught briefly in a public high school and would have loved to have set up a Ritalin fogger in my classroom. It is a rare person, male or female, who is naturally inclined to sit still for 17 years in school, and then indefinitely at work.

From personal experience, I sympathize strongly with the points above. I am one of the so called knowledge workers, a product of the AP- College Prep track then off to one of the Catholic Ivy’s in the Northeast. Luckily, my high school did have shop (required for all boys), and I came from a background where being able to repair rather than replace was a point of pride. Throughout the course of my life, I have always taken more enjoyment from working with my hands, feeble and amateur as the efforts may be, than any professional accolade or accomplishment at the office.  A rather unscientific polling of co-workers, usually undertaken with a beer after repairing a  floor, back deck, fencing or radiator, indicates that there is a greater sense of satisfaction from working with one’s hand and mind, rather than shuffling numbers from one spreadsheet to another.

When Bill and I decided to blurb this book, we did it with an eye towards our audience. We both have prepper backgrounds, as do most of our friends, so the concept of being able to make and repair items is not foreign to us and probably familiar most of our readers. We have noticed that in general terms that these skills are in decline, with probably close to two generations of people who are unable to repair items around the house or their own vehicles. With that in mind, we have decided to turn this blurb into a three part series, with the second part concerning a list of tools that every person should own and concluding with a list of relatively inexpensive projects to reacquaint you with your wrenches.

Re: Green is Red

As an outdoorsman, fisherman and hunter, as well as someone who does appreciate non-poisonous drinking water, the somewhat natual conflict between my obvious desire to recoup my soul via the outdoor pursuits and my obvious belief in liberty and being free from onerous regulations has been somewhat difficult to overcome. As my readings and continued education in decentralization progressed, a razor has been applied to the Gordian knot of that conflict. The following is not a fully formed theory, but more of a “thought”. I recommend thinking while enjoying ethanol or other biofuels that have been aged in oak barrels. As Willaim Faulkner said “Civillization begins with distillation”.

The razor in question is the concept that localization of both government and industrial production both assures political liberty and a certain quality of life. Much as a small, constrained county government is more responsive to its citizens, locally owned industry and commerce is as well. As an example, consider the modern pratice of using cyanide heap leaching for copper. Under current Feral Government regulation, via the 1872 Mining Law, both the cyanide contaminated water and slag rock can be used as fill material. Now, any sentient human knows that cyanide is exceptionally toxic and that cyanide in the ground water supply is not by any means a good thing.

Recently, the US Supreme Court ruled that mine waste can be legally dumped into waterways. The mining company affected directly by the ruling,  Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp, is a subsidary of Northern Dynasty, in turn a subsidary of Anglo-American, a multinational mining conglomerate that once wholly owned the nation of Rhodesia. One may wonder where this essay is meandering, but consider this- would a local mine owner retain a legal department in order to contaminate his own drinking water? It makes sense for a large multinational, with management esconced in London, far removed the effects of both the regulation and the contamination, but is preposterous on its face when considering a locally owned operation.

Consider a locally owned timber company. Would the owner clear cut a drainage right to the bank, when he must face both the commercial salmon fisherman and the recreational guides at the local greasy spoon? Neither group is known for tact or restraint when their livihoods are threatened.

Much hay is made by the Greens concerning living wages. Who is better in tune with the wage rates for a given locale- a local business owner in competition for skilled labor, or a technocrat in Mordor on the Potomac trying to set a national “minimum wage”?

As I alluded to earlier, I have no concrete answers, but points to ponder. More thinking and ethanol consumption may be required tonight.

Green is Red by Bill Buppert

“When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power”

~ Alston Chase

I am sick to death of the economically illiterate environmental nonsense peddled in the media in an endless parade of bad thinking disguised as scientific discourse. The Green movement is a collectivist enterprise hell-bent on bending every knee in obeisance to a religious orthodoxy that will cripple the advancement of mankind and create third-world nations where first-world countries used to be, exponentially increasing infant mortality rates and reducing standards of living to make all of us look back on envy at the gold-plated living conditions of medieval serfs. The movement is a nasty brew of National Socialist “blood and soil” (see Anna Bramwells’s books), Marxist bromides and a child-like vision of how the universe works.

Central planning does not work. Larger entities that use force and coercion to make others do the right thing lead to national prison camps disguised as nation-states. Here’s a short quiz for you: grab the nearest envirus and ask him how would he suggest we improve the care and feeding of Mother Earth absent government intervention? He will splutter and get a very blank look in his vapid face as the synapses collapse and fail to function properly.

Use this rule of thumb: cost and benefit analysis will usually determine the economic efficacy of a given course of action. Prices are, among many attributes, the keenest indicator of scarcity or abundance of commodities or services. If recycling is such a great idea, why don’t they pay you to do it? If wind and solar energy are such ideal means to deliver power, why do they require massive subsidy and inevitably, the theft from private owners through eminent domain and other tools of economic oppression?

Speak truth to power because the Greens now have the upper hand. The government-media complex is now fully captive to the entire Green orthodoxy. Excepting shows like Bullshit! on Showtime, none questions the prevailing belief system; it is like a form of national psychosis although I feel the same way about the worship of the State. The environmental agenda is nothing less than a total renunciation of Western civilization and the requisite privileges of clean water, electricity, effective farming and a host of other modern conveniences.

The envirus views nature as a snapshot picture of the world frozen in time and unchanging; a static portraiture of life that possesses no adaptation and dynamism. Infantile views of nature which are most likely a result from having never tread upon it or lived in it. Rarely is the hunter or long-time ruralite seduced by the Disney visions of nature that dance in the heads of the Greens. A perspective further informed by the academic and media professionals whose worldview is shaped by a hive-like collectivist vision of human society in which all individuals are to be subordinated to the whims of what’s good for the herd as directed by omniscient strangers whose fatal conceit is that they are smarter than us so they know what is best for you.

Nature is cruel and dynamic. It is a daily massacre for the lame and the newborn. Vicious spasms of violence red in tooth and claw tempered by turns of weather that can kill and nourish in the same pastoral event. Most importantly, nature is capricious in the most practical sense: the complexity is so immense as to be almost incomprehensible to human cognition. Complexity theory has tried to capture the distillate of what appears to be random phenomenon but is actually a spontaneous order much like economic market forces. Which brings us to the cruelest joke of all on the Greens: they can’t possibly know what they are talking about.

Here’s the rub: there is no question of climate change, the riddle is to what extent man is a culprit. Once a given problem set has three or more variables, it becomes impossible to establish with any certitude correlative or causative connections between A and B and C. The global climate is a complex system far too large to isolate variables and know with pinpoint accuracy what makes it tick or respond to human influences. I don’t deny that humans have an impact on the climate but no one can prove to me what the extent is. No evidence emerges that the ice ages in medieval times were anthropogenic, they were simply within the observed cycle of cooling and warming that one would expect of a planetary ecosystem dependent on solar energy as a driver and engine of weather and life. There is a reason increased sunspot activity is coincident with warming trends. Man is not apart from nature, he is a part of nature. We are part of the infrastructure and no one can even address why carbon dioxide, if a pollutant, nourishes all earthly plant life excepting certain anaerobic moss. The government does not even want to have a discussion since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently muzzled one of its in-house climate skeptics.

Stand up to the Greens and call them on their idiocy. Question all their assumptions. Stand athwart their diktats and directives as they attempt to rule you as cattle. They are shutting down coal-fired plants by the dozen and seeking to bankrupt the nation by pursuing green technologies that the market has proven to be a technological & economic dead-end. Curiously, they object strenuously to the purest solar energy of all: nuclear energy which harnesses the power of the sun in a relatively clean fission package. One small ray of hope is the fact that the EPA will strangle and mangle all the emerging green technology. They will get all bureaucratically befuddled as the contesting envirus schisms like bird enthusiasts and wind generator proponents do battle. Pollution activists will discover the immense smog component of mass transit buses and the maintenance infrastructure. Electric car boosters will stand dumb-founded in their garages as the AC outlet fails to deliver power after the coal-fired grid is shut down through rolling brown-outs or blackouts. All done, of course, at taxpayer expense.

Under Obamunism, we have a wild ride ahead of us as the Green Reds at first have a terrific honeymoon with Middle America but soon discover the combination of economic illiteracy, scientific buffoonery and collectivist tyranny make for a lethal cocktail. It would be wonderful if we could just sit on the sidelines and observe the circus but the future of America is in the hazard. Indeed, the collectivists have other plans for us.

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

~ Philip K. Dick

Copyright @ 2009 William Buppert

Good Morning, Mr. President

This is a short fictional essay I wrote last year that piqued considerable reader interest. The deeper the Greater Depression (thanks Matt Bracken) becomes, the more evident the absolute lunacy of central planning and the leviathan state. It was followed by a number of other essays exploring secession. All comments are welcome, Bill.

“Good Morning, Governor, how might we…”

“Mr. President, I realize you are a busy man so let’s get down to brass tacks…we are calling the ball and withdrawing our support of your Administration and the Federal government in DC. Effective immediately, we have coordinated to place all outgoing receipts to the IRS in a caged account here in Boise…”

“Governor, you can’t do that…”

“Please don’t interrupt while I am speaking as we are from this point onward peers in the family of nations. I hope you have reviewed the diplomatic instruments we sent by courier last night to Department of State which delineates the terms of our divorce.”

“I did receive those and you have no earthly idea the can of whoop-…”

“Please, sir, maintain the decorum of these proceedings so we can move forward to an amicable separation. I give you my personal assurance on the safety and well-being of all Federal personnel we have detained for immediate repatriation to the remainder of these United States. Any non-law enforcement Federal personnel who wish to remain behind will be permitted to do so.”

“I hope you have thought through the consequences of what you are embarking on.”

“Mr. President, we have had over two hundred years to give the rulers on the Potomac a chance but that time has expired. Effective immediately, all so-called Federal lands now belong to the nation of Idaho and we will dispose of these lands at our leisure. In the interest of burying the hatchet, we will not seek compensation for the seizure, abuse and tenure of Federal practices on the aforementioned land and call the balance even.”

“Those are my lands, Governor…”

“In actuality, they belong to neither of us, sir. On to other business, I have alerted my National Guard forces to establish checkpoints at all the main arterials in and out of Idaho. All National Guard forces deployed overseas will return home in the next 48 hours. I would also caution you on the use of military force to convince Idaho and its citizens to forcibly return to the yoke of the Union. Idaho has a well-deserved reputation as a rather well-equipped state in firearms possession and use. As Yamamoto said, you may find a rifle behind every blade of grass.”

“Are you threatening the president of the United States?”

“No, sir, I am simply making an observation about the hazards of one country invading another.”

“You are land-locked, Governor and wholly dependent on federal subsidy for a great deal of employment and infrastructure in Idaho.”

“No longer, the tremendous tax burden across the spectrum formally imposed in our nation as a subject State in your country is now effectively terminated and we are going to unleash the free market to address all of our former shortcomings as a result of the overarching government supremacism practiced here before. In telephone conversations with my neighboring governors, we are on the verge of Confederation negotiations that will pave the way for Idaho embassies in British Columbia, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. We do intend on opening a consular office in DC as soon as we can ensure the diplomatic baggage containing sufficient weapons assures our safety in the greater DC metropolitan area for our diplomatic personnel.”

“Governor, what Constitutional right do you have to secede from the US?”

“Mr. President, the behavior you have exhibited toward the Constitution has been at best characterized by active neglect and abhorrence for the restraint on governance in the Bill of Rights. I am rather surprised you would resort to assuming the document in any way has weight in Washington, DC. I would suggest my rights extend as far as our ability to throw off what has become a government of occupation instead of cooperation. We resign, sir and wish to go in peace.”

“I will use every measure in my arsenal to force you back into the fold.”

“Mr. President, thank you for the heads-up but we have taken certain precautions to ensure that any rash measures on your part have a disproportionate impact in the DC/Virginia corridor. Please don’t press us on the issue. I would like to offer one more rather moderate important proposal to our future business. These United States as administered by DC are now essentially bankrupt. War on the world, out of control spending and borrowing, debt and deficit, non-funded future liabilities in the tens of trillions and a banking infrastructure rotten at every level has pushed the US to an economic abyss from which it cannot shrink. We will provide you a demonstration project of tiny government, free banking and a formerly enslaved citizenry unleashed to realize their potential with no government interference. We simply wish to go our own way untethered from the Remora Nation DC came to symbolize.”

“Governor, this conversation is over.”

“Good day, Mr. President.”